Runner’s World Oct 2004
By Jeff Galloway
Q & A
Q. For my first marathon, what should my goal be?
A. Above all, your goal is to finish. Beyond that, many things can
suprise you on race day - the weather, the course, your body - so
having several goal options will give you more control over your
marathon experience. Try these:
Goal 1: To enjoy the whole race - from start to finish. Take in
the scenery, talk to the runners around you, thank the crowd, and
take part in the post-marathon party. If you only accomplish this
goal, your experience will be positive.
Goal 2: To finish strong, wanting to run another marathon. A strong
marathon finish requires restraint during the first half of the
race. For the first 15 miles or so, the pace should feel easy. If
you start to breathe heavily early on, slow down immediately. It
may seem overly cautious, but if you make the correction quickly
you’ll avoid a greater slowdown later in the race.
Goal 3: To run a realistic time. Use one of the “prediction
tables” in my book Marathon - You Can Do It (Shelter Publications).
First-timers running just “to finish” should have a
very good experience if they run one to two minutes per mile slower
than the prediction table states. Veterans should still run at least
20 seconds per mile slower than goal pace for the first five to
eight miles. If you had a time goal but your body isn’t cooperating,
stick with goals 1 and 2.
THE EXCUSE (AND HOW TO BEAT IT)
I don’t have time to run.
The last three U.S. presidents have run regularly. So you’ve
got to ask yourself: Are you busier than then president? For most
people, it’s a matter of learning how to organize your day
to include a run. And once you do that, you’ll find you get
more done the rest of the day - thanks to the energy boost you get
01>> Use “dead” times. Set the alarm 30 minutes
early. It gives you enough time to get a run in before the rest
of your day begins, but it won’t seriously cut into your sleep
time. Or run while waiting for the kids to finish soccer practice
or school. Or sneak in a 20-minute run over your lunch hour. Who
needs an hour to eat lunch?
02>> Schedule runs in your appointment book. Once you have
your run “booked,” you can relax, knowing you won’t
have to scramble to find the time later.
03>> Run to or from work. This takes a bit more coordination
of clothing and transportation but can help you gear up for a day
at the office or unwind from the workday before you get home.
04>> Beat the rush. Shorten your commute by driving to work
before rush hour, then use that time savings to run at the office.
Or run at a park or trail on the way home while traffic dies down.
Quick Fix: POOR PACING
SIMPLE SOLUTIONS TO COMMON RUNNING MISTAKES
Most beginners have trouble pacing their runs. Here’s help,
whether you’re a tortoise or a hare. 1) Too Fast. Do you often
slow down at the end of your runs? If so, you started too fast.
Map out a route and time yourself against landmarks. Slow down the
early segments on your next runs until you feel strong the whole
way. 2) Too Slow. Try some speedwork. Once a week, after a 10-minutes
warmup, run a little faster for 30 seconds. Then walk for 30 seconds.
Repeat two or three times. Each time, increase the pace a little
bit. Each week, add two more 30-second bursts until you get to 10.
(SAY WHAT?) RUNNING JARGON, TRANSLATED
Anaerobic Threshold (AT) The transition between aerobic running
(a steady training intensity) and anaerobic running (sprinting).
Proper training can increase AT by teaching the muscles to use oxygen
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